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17 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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CNG auto-rickshaws fleecing commuters

“On Sept 17 last year, a BRTA notice warned drivers and owners of vehicles of action if passengers were harassed. But many drivers said they were unaware of such a notice”
Saugato Bosu
CNG auto-rickshaws fleecing commuters

Drivers of CNG-powered auto-rickshaws are virtually robbing their passengers by charging arbitrary fares in the capital by ignoring meters in violation of rules. The arrival of ride-sharing services like Pathao and Uber has not changed the scenario. Debunking the metered bill system introduced by the government, CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers charge exorbitant fares from commuters. Daily commuters are extremely critical of CNG auto-rickshaw drivers. Most of them feel that Pathao is a great transportation option for avoiding traffic gridlocks. Uber is also considered passenger-friendly.

This correspondent wanted to travel from the Shyamoli footbridge to Tejgaon yesterday. Auto-rickshaw drivers demanded Tk. 200–250 from him for a distance of 4.3 km against the meter fare of Tk. 130.

Passengers also alleged they are being harassed by auto drivers for refusing to pay exorbitant fares. There is nobody to book auto-rickshaws running without meters, they said.

Although a mobile court has recently been set up to control the irregularities and mismanagement of CNG auto-rickshaws operated by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), most commuters do not know where to lodge complaints against the unruly auto drivers.

BRTA secretary Muhammad Showkat Ali told The Independent that there are three main complaints against auto-rickshaw drivers: charging of extra fare, misbehaviour with passengers, and refusal. “We're operating mobile courts in different parts of Dhaka city and commuters can lodge complaint with them,” he said.

On September 17 last year, a BRTA notice warned drivers and owners of vehicles of action if passengers were harassed. But many drivers said they were unaware of such a notice. Several auto-rickshaw drivers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they have

to give the owner of the vehicle a fixed amount at the end of each day. “We demand extra payment when our income is not good,” one of them explained. A traffic police officer said they usually take action against auto-rickshaw drivers for not using meters. He also said that they constantly monitor the situation. He, however, said that passengers do not cooperate with them in many cases.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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